Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 5 May 2013
Page 9

Challenge Your Youth

T. Pierce Brown (deceased)

T. Pierce BrownFor the more than 40 years that I have been involved in correspondence Bible school work, most of the appeals I have heard (and probably most that I have made) have been directed toward the elderly women of the church. The philosophy probably was something like this: Since the elderly women of the church have been relegated to the background and not been given much of anything to do in the church that is important, why not get them involved in this kind of work, whether it be local, national or worldwide?

There may be little wrong with that kind of philosophy except that it probably leaves the impression that this sort of work is of secondary importance, and is not really worthwhile except for those who cannot do anything else. If that impression is left on anyone, it is a tragic mistake and needs correction for three reasons. First, this work is not secondary. It is one of the ways of carrying out the primary task of the church. Second, elderly women can do many other kinds of things of value to the church. Third, this sort of work should receive the interest and participation of every segment of the church.

Can you imagine the fantastic results that would be achieved in carrying out the commission of our Lord if the young people of our congregations were challenged with the wonder, joy and value of getting involved in mission work through correspondence Bible school work in China, Africa, India, South America or anywhere in the world? There are many of them who may be tired of hay rides, hot dog roasts, outings of one sort or another that do very little for their spiritual hunger to do something valuable for the Lord and for the world (even if a “devotional” is tacked on somewhere). They could be challenged with this kind of project and could learn much about the Bible, and be highly motivated to do other kinds of “mission” work in the process.

When Caleb said, “Give me this mountain” in Joshua 14:12, he was not interested in some molehill. We have tried to challenge our young people too long with molehills, but I believe many of them would respond to the challenge of the mountains.

I took my first correspondence Bible course about 1945, while I was flying in B-17’s over Europe. I have been trying to encourage others to participate ever since. You do not have to use John Hurt’s, Monroe Hawley’s, Ivan Stewart’s, World Bible School’s or any particular one. If you have anything better, use it, but for heaven’s sake (and I mean that in a literal way), if you are not involved in personal evangelism in a personal way, you could at least get involved in impersonal evangelism, or personal evangelism in a less direct way. I especially urge you to try to harness the tremendous talent, ability and desire of our young people in the effort to evangelize by correspondence courses.

Love in the New Testament

Paul Clements

Paul ClementesThe English language fails to distinguish between various concepts of love when translated from the Greek language. The English word “love” fails to express variations of love with just that one word. In the Greek language, several terms are used to express various “types” of love. Not all Greek words that might be translated “love” are found in the New Testament, but the definition, meaning and use of these words can add depth to our understanding of the concept of love in the New Testament.

There are four Greek words that were in use in New Testament times that we might translate love. The first of these is eros. This word speaks mainly of love between the sexes, passionate love. From the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, we learn eros is “passionate love which desires the other for itself.” The Greeks praised the god, Eros, who was supposed to compel all in sensuous action. The word “erotic” comes from eros. Eros is not in the New Testament.

The second Greek word translated “love” is stroge. This word expresses the idea of family affection. Stroge does not appear in the New Testament, but an adjective form of this word is found in Romans 12:10 and is translated “kindly affectioned” or “tenderly affectioned.”

The noun philia was the most common word for love in New Testament times, though it appears only once in the New Testament in James 4:4. There it is translated “friendship.” The verb form, phileo, is found 25 times in the New Testament. Twenty-two of the twenty-five times it is translated “love.” This word means to “look on someone or something with affectionate regard; to cherish.” It includes physical love in some instances, but it is much more than that. It can refer to friendship love and even to include the friendship love of husband and wife. Barclay says “it is best translated cherish.” In the New Testament, this word is used in regard to love of persons and love of things. These uses suggest the idea of tender affection for someone or to cherish something.

The noun agape and the verb form agapao are words for a special kind of love. These words are found a number of times in the New Testament. The other words for love usually have to do with emotions and feeling. Agape and agapao are words for love that require a decision. In other words, it is a decided love. This love is the ultimate kind of love. It is a love of appreciation and respect. It is devotion to the object of love. It is a commanded love (Matthew 5:43-48). There, we are told to love our enemies. How? Why? Jesus says this is so we can be like God the Father.

Agape is Christian love. When we love with agape love, we have the other person’s best interest at heart. It seeks man’s highest good and treats man like God would treat him. “Beloved, let us love one another…” (1 John 4:7).

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